Velma Pease, 51
Master of Elementary Education, reading emphasis, MSUB
Crow Agency, Montana
November 18, 2016
By Blair Koch, University Relations and Communications, 657-2269
As eight-year-old Alyssa Bianas sounds out the word “Tortilla,” in a colorful picture book her teacher, Velma Pease, smiles her on.
A few paragraphs later, and some confidence under her belt, Bianas reads a passage about turning the oven to 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
“Good!” Pease reassures her student.
Before they can start a new book, a timer chimes and Pease’s second grade class at Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy shuffles to new reading stations.
Instead of coaching one-on-one, a group of three, excited kids take their seats and they are grilled about a book they read earlier.
Pease’s love of literature and teaching is apparent, so it’s no surprise she is currently working to obtain a master of elementary education, with a reading emphasis, through Montana State University Billings’ online program.
“It’s so convenient being able to do it online, especially since I live out in the country. I don’t have to go to Billings every day,” Pease said, who works full-time and also helps out on the family’s cattle ranch.
Pease has worked at the private, religious school in St. Xavier for three years but has been an educator for many years.
She obtained her undergraduate degree from MSUB in elementary education and then a master’s in community economic development from Southern New Hampshire University. She returned to Montana and taught business at Little Big Horn College.
However, her true calling is teaching kids how to read.
“I really enjoy reading and want to share that passion,” Pease said.
After graduation, Pease won’t be done learning as she plans on earning a doctorate in language or reading.
As a member of the Crow Tribe, she uses her first language extensively.
“I would like to use the Crow language in education,” she said.
Personally, she is also excited about sharing her love of reading and language with her family – especially her four grandchildren.